REVIEW: Superboy #2: Smallville Attacks! Part Two

Superboy #2 by Jeff Lemire and Pier Gallo

“Two words… PARASITE FROGS!”

That may need some explanation.

This month’s Superboy picks up where the last one left off: Poison Ivy is in Smallville and she needs Superboy’s help. Superboy initially distrusts her, but she claims she’s not the one causing all of the vegetation to go nuts. There’s some alien power affecting the whole Green and all the plant elementals are feeling it. They track it down to some kind of alien device. Ivy is able to… “disable” it and immediately turns on Superboy, trying to use her pheromones to force him to steal the device for her own use. It’s then that Simon is able to use some of Parasite’s cells to genetically modify his frogs and use them to take Ivy down. It’s all wrapped up nicely when Superboy and Simon find an ancient artifact with some very familiar markings (to the reader, that is).

Jeff Lemire proves that he has a very good handle on what DC wants from the Superboy premise: a simple story of Superboy in Smallville with a villain-of-the-week and his pals helping him figure out the problem. In other words, a cross-breed of the original Superboy stories with the early Smallville TV series. As unoriginal as the premise is, it’s executed well. Lemire has a good hold on Superboy’s character (even if Pier Gallo went a bit overboard with his hair). Simon Valentine is more than just a young Lex Luthor (so far), he is his own character and an interesting one at that.

All that said, the issue really feels like half a wrap-up of the previous issue and half the opening part of the next issue. Stuff happens, but it’s all just hints at future storylines. That’s not unprecedented for the second issue of a series. Things are just getting started and a lot of pipe has to be laid to pay off in the future. All in all, you can probably pass up this issue safely, but you won’t feel gypped if you do buy it.

My Picks, Week of 12/8

Here’s my anticipated comics for this week. Reviews will start once I have them in my hot little hands.

Superboy #2
It’s so great to see The Kid back in his own book, and it’s even better to see rising star Jeff Lemire writing it. The first issue captured the spirit of Superboy perfectly, and the gorgeous pencils of Pier Gallo really made Smallville come alive. In the second issue, Poison Ivy is in town and all the vegetation of Smallville is going crazy. Should be a fun read.
R.E.B.E.L.S. #23
When I began reading comics seriously ~15 years ago, L.E.G.I.O.N./R.E.B.E.L.S. was the first full series I ever collected. I was really thrilled to see Tony Bedard bring back Vril Dox in this book, and it’s proven to be one of the most reliable books month-to-month for superhero-space opera. Jumping on the Green Lantern bandwagon, L.E.G.I.O.N. is once again butting heads with the Corps, and guest star John Stewart has been dispatched as an envoy for a treaty between the two. Meanwhile, the Psions are dealing with the aftermath of Starfire’s attack.
This book makes good use of DC’s rich tapestry of aliens to tell some great space stories. Claude St. Aubin’s work continues to wow me with the detail he puts into alien worlds and starships. This may be the number one sleeper hit you should be reading from either of the big two.
New Avengers #7
While I’m happy they restored Avengers with the classic line-up of Captain America, Thor and Iron Man, the first storyline was all flash and not much substance. The first arc of the renumbered New Avengers was much better. The aftermath of the demonic invasion it is felt in this issue, and the previews promise some shake-ups in the team’s roster. This promises to be Bendis at the top of his game, working without restrictions.
Lady Mechanika #1
I’m not usually a big steampunk guys, but I’ve heard so many good things about this one. The Joe Benitez art looks great and the #0 issue was intriguing. I’m willing to give it a shot.
27 #1
They had me at “Hendrix, Cobain, Joplin, Morrison. All belong to the “27 Club,” which admits only the most brilliant musicians and artists…and kills them dead in their 27th year.”

We want to hear from you! What are you looking forward to this week?

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